Saturday, May 15, 2010

Some Favorites

Two weeks of living here in the beach condo has been time enough to reconnect with some of the tidbits that make the days good. What I mean are some of the small things I found over the years in an old shop or out of the way place, and bought to fill a corner at the beach. For a long time they were all things I only saw for six weeks each summer. Other seasons were all in Tokyo. And so these past fourteen days I’ve been getting reacquainted with some favorites.

Sitting down and noting my special likes, the list became too cumbersome, so I just whittled it down to frogs, herbs, books, Pelikan and glass.

FROGS There are two carved wood frogs from Indonesia living under the tables. One is very large, and the other small. They came from a gift shop in Mt Dora, Florida, fifty miles west of here. When you rake the ‘bat’ across the ridges on their backs, they croak and sing.

HERBS On the patio is a small herb garden with parsley, dill, basil and tarragon that the winter renters left behind for me. Kind people who spent the past five winters in this condo. This small patch of green is new this year, but how those herbs survive in this salty air I don’t know.

BOOKS My complete library has been divided for the past eleven years, with half in Tokyo, and half here in Florida. It’s always a joy for me to be among the collection here. (The Tokyo half is on the high seas, soon to join us on these shelves.) The photo squeezed between the top shelf books is one of my mother and father in the mid 1940s.

PELIKAN This one has great sentimental value because it was a gift from my good friend in Tokyo, Yoshiro Sawane. It is the traditional Pelikan pen holder, the large size.

GLASS The white pelikan is standing on a thick, round slab of glass. It’s very heavy, about a half inch thick and six inches in diameter. It is completely unmarked, with no hint of origin. I can’t for the life of me remember where I got it.

And as the old Rodgers & Hammerstein musical said, “These are a few of my favorite things.”


  1. Would love to read a blog about the wooden creatures and the music they make.


  2. I'm trying to read the names on the books. I see Michael Chabon and Pat Conroy.
    Have any Eric Ambler spy novels or R.L. Stevenson?
    I always study pics of bookshelves to see what others are reading,,,
    Enjoying your blog --


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America